In addition to emotional grief and stress, divorce often comes at a heavy financial toll for the parties involved. If you know that you have an impending divorce, you may be curious as to the extent of what you may lose, and if there is anything you can do to lessen the financial blow.
What you might lose
You stand to lose a portion of all marital assets, which means anything you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. Even things that started out as your own separate property can qualify as marital property if you put them to use for your family.
Georgia courts do not necessarily divide marital assets equally. They make an equitable division based on the individual financial situation of each spouse. Thus, if you have a higher earning potential than your spouse, you could lose a greater share of the marital assets.
If you are the higher earner of the marriage, or if your earning potential is much higher than that of your spouse, then you could also end up with a considerable spousal support obligation. Depending upon the circumstances, you might have to pay temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, or – in rare instances – even permanent alimony.
How to protect it
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to leave things such as property division and spousal support up to a court to decide for you. You and your spouse have the opportunity to negotiate your own spousal agreement. With the assistance of attorneys, in the presence of a mediator, or by yourselves, you can agree on the terms of your separation to present to the court for approval.
Negotiating your own separation agreement is often beneficial, because it allows you to fight for the assets that you most care about, while offering concessions for things that you are more willing to part with. Through careful negotiation, you may be able to agree on terms that are more favorable than the ones that a court would impose on you.
While there’s no way to get through a divorce completely unscathed, there are ways of ensuring that you can get the most favorable outcome possible. By taking the negotiation process into your own hands, you can increase the odds of being able to keep what is most valuable to you.